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Old 09-24-2004, 09:14 AM   #1
norton73 OP
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Somebody please tell me why I have a BMW

Mounted a new rear tire on the GS yesterday, and noticed a clunking from the driveshaft while rotating the wheel. I guess it's time to inspect the gearbox too.
So far this summer, I've replaced the headlight switch, alt. rotor, fork seals, rear shock, head gaskets, pushrod tubes, and rear shock.
My K100RS is jumping out of second gear under hard acceleration (is there any other kind?) and this weekend's project is to inspect that.
My '73 Norton has been running fine, I've put more miles on it this summer than the two BMWs combined, and other than burning up two sets of tires, hasn't cost me more than gas.
Where's the legendary BMW reliability?
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Old 09-24-2004, 10:48 AM   #2
wpbarlow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73
...Where's the legendary BMW reliability?
Standing right over there- right behind the legendary BMW PR Machine.



Sorry for all your trouble, but you asked.
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Old 09-24-2004, 11:56 AM   #3
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[QUOTE=norton73]So far this summer, I've replaced the headlight switch, alt. rotor, fork seals, rear shock, head gaskets, pushrod tubes, and rear shock.


You had to replace the rear shock twice? I'd be asking questions, too...
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Old 09-24-2004, 04:55 PM   #4
norton73 OP
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not enough caffine this AM

[QUOTE=JimX]
Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73
So far this summer, I've replaced the headlight switch, alt. rotor, fork seals, rear shock, head gaskets, pushrod tubes, and rear shock.


You had to replace the rear shock twice? I'd be asking questions, too...
I only replaced one shock, most of my other bikes are dual shocks, so I must be confused.
Probably thinking of something else that broke this summer.
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Old 09-24-2004, 05:07 PM   #5
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why do I ride BMW?

BMW riders get the girls
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Old 09-24-2004, 05:22 PM   #6
Team Dennis
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BMW=Big Money Wasted.











But I still own one.
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Old 09-24-2004, 05:42 PM   #7
ramjet
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Somebody please tell me why I have a BMW

Your Beemers are too old. You simply need a new R1200 GS and your problems will be solved. Seriously, I feel your pain. Hope you get matters resolved.
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Old 09-25-2004, 06:21 PM   #8
SQD8R
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just curious how many miles on the Norton compared to the BMW's?
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Old 09-25-2004, 07:40 PM   #9
Team Dennis
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I own a Norton as well and would not leave town without a chase vehicle.
Everything from a blown head gasket to blown-out isolastics make me wonder WTF I ever saw in them.















Oh yeah, it's the retro thing.
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Old 09-26-2004, 06:49 PM   #10
norton73 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SQD8R
just curious how many miles on the Norton compared to the BMW's?
Well to be honest, the K100RS has 120,000 really hard miles on it.
The GS has 60,000.
The Norton has 50,000, but I got it when it only had 8K on it. It had been sitting in a carport with a plastic tarp over it, and was a pile of rust. I tore it down, powdercoated the frame, replaced every bit of rubber, cables, put a new set of rings in it, painted it, and have rode it like it's a sport bike ever since. It's been 15 years of hard use, and while it has had it's share of problems, it seems like it's been easier and cheaper to run than the BMWs.
The Norton is my favorite ride, followed by the GS.
I'm not really complaining, I posted this just to see other folk's reaction.
It just seems like BMWs have a great reputation for reliability, but the British bikes are maligned for being unreliable.
Shaft drive is supposed to be maintainance free, just change the oil. Chains are dirty, need lube all the time, and wear out along with sprockets, and therefore more expensive.
But if I have to do spine lubes, and replace joints, it seems like the shafts are more expensive and lobor consuming to run.
And don't even ask about electrics, Bosch vs Lucas.
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Old 09-26-2004, 07:24 PM   #11
SQD8R
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well I was just curious. Thx for sharing. Personally I've never believed any of the hype from any company. I've had the same issues with so-called Honda reliability. I think the big think is making sure people separate the hype from the reality.
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Old 09-26-2004, 07:35 PM   #12
gaspipe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73
Shaft drive is supposed to be maintainance free, just change the oil. Chains are dirty, need lube all the time, and wear out along with sprockets, and therefore more expensive.
But if I have to do spine lubes, and replace joints, it seems like the shafts are more expensive and lobor consuming to run.
The driveshaft on the GS is not a wet one. It relies on the 'lubed for life' u-joints that our Bavarian friends manufacture. Additionally, it runs at a severe angle. If you got 60k, you're one lucky SOB. I think you're clunk may also be the output shaft bearing, so you may want to take a closer look at that.

I've never got more than 10k on a set of chain and sprockets, so I figure the GS is about the same as far as $ per mile. Except I don't have to lube the shaft - it just dies on it's own when it's ready.

The rear shock is a piece of shit right from the factory. So are the fork springs.

The charging system is a joke. If you want to keep the bike, give Motoradd Elektric a call. They are right outside of Gadsden, AL and have a nice, albeit 'spensive, charging system.

The airhead GS is a nice bike, but it has it's weaknesses. You've found them. The devil you know is better than the one you don't know. Sometimes.
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Old 10-03-2004, 06:20 AM   #13
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Just put a couch cushion on an XR and never look back.
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Old 10-03-2004, 07:11 AM   #14
Oilhed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norton73
The GS has 60,000.
The Norton has 50,000, but I got it when it only had 8K on it. It had been sitting in a carport with a plastic tarp over it, and was a pile of rust. I tore it down, powdercoated the frame, replaced every bit of rubber, cables, put a new set of rings in it, painted it, and have rode it like it's a sport bike ever since. It's been 15 years of hard use, and while it has had it's share of problems, it seems like it's been easier and cheaper to run than the BMWs.
The Norton is my favorite ride, followed by the GS.
Well, thats the problem. You should have done a complete tear down/rebuild on the GS also. If you did it would be more reliable than the Norton.

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Oilhed screwed with this post 10-04-2004 at 05:14 PM
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Old 10-04-2004, 03:46 PM   #15
norton73 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oilhed
Well, thats the problem. You should have done a complete tear down/rebuild on the GS also. If you did it would it would be more reliable than the Norton.

MarkF
Yeah, but the Norton only cost me $300, and I put about $1200 in it (not counting my labor) to get it on the road.
The GS cost me $4000, and I'm looking at putting close to a grand in it in the next couple of weeks, not counting the money I already spent this summer on it.

Oh, and some Lexus driving POS too busy talking on his cell phone to stop at a STOP sign hit me on the Norton a couple of years ago. His Insurance company paid me $4K for the Norton and let me keep it. I put it back on the road for less than $300, so I think the Norton doesn't owe me any thing.

And unlike Team Dennis, I've taken many trips on the Norton, last year it was 2500 miles in 10 days from MD to Mid-Ohio, to Ontario, through New England and home(I was living in MD then). And that's just one of many in the 15 years I've had it.
Although the GS and the K-bike have been my commuters for my 70 mile daily round trip, I feel I need to look the Norton over after every long ride.
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